Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year... Under Pressure!

Annie has two brand new forty gallon fresh water tanks which I have to refill about every three to four weeks. I would not classify filling the tanks as a "project" by any means, but the process is a little involved... a "chore" would better describe it.

Because Westsail 32's have no fresh water deck fills, I have to run a hose down through the V-Berth hatch, and gain access to the tanks via the floor hatch. Each tank is then filled and the whole process takes about thirty minutes. Not a lot of time... but still, time. My question was "Why?". Why, when I am at dock with a constant fresh water supply from the city, (which is included in my slip rental), should I have to do this chore? I could not produce an answer that justified NOT having a constant water supply.

I decided, it was time to fit Annie with the ability to "plug into" the marina water source. The project only took about two hours and I think it was worth it.

I know the danger of a waterline break in the boat could potentially sink the boat, but the chances of that happening are extremely slim. The reasons being, all the waterlines in Annie are new and of good quality and I placed a quick and easy turn-off valve at the pedestal. I will simply turn off the water anytime I will be away from the boat for an extended time. If the former does not avert the danger, the latter will eliminate it. (Also, I used an in-line pressure reducer valve to lower the water pressure to 40-50 psi which is easier on the waterlines but still plenty of pressure for washing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.).

So, Annie and I will start our New Year under pressure.

Happy New Year! May God bless you richly in 2016.

Obviously this is not a Westsail 32 but the water system is exactly what I have on Annie. The blue line was what was added.

The parts and tools readied...

City water had to be tied in behind the check valve to prevent water from entering the 12 volt water system and overflow the tanks.

The hole was a little difficult considering it's location. Ask me how I do it.

The boat needs washing!

Sealed with Butyl Tape,...of course

Boat wide leak check... Passed!

Plugged into City water

...and yes, I did wash the dishes. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Crappy Job! (Part 3)

This Crappy Job is finished! 

I wasn't going to write a third post but when I tried to amend Part 2, the formatting kept changing and Blogger would not allow me to amend the post correctly, so here's the third post about this crappy job and hopefully, you'll never have to hear about anything else related to this genre of boatwork ever again... (fingers crossed, knock on wood).

Installed the venting fans, both solar and 12v. 

It's really pretty straightforward - removed the headliner, cut the 4" hole in the cabin top at the appropriate location, (drilled a pilot hole out and used a jigsaw to cut the hole from topside). 

I spliced into the 12v power supply from the light in the head, (spliced before the switch so the fan will run continuously unless cut off at the breaker panel). 

Caulked everything, and used butyl tape to seal all vent base edges and screw holes.

Fair seas and God bless.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Crappy Job! (Part 2)

The crappy job continues.

The Nature's Head Composting Toilet arrived on Saturday but due to difficulties beyond my control, it did not get installed until today.

The first thing was to do something about all the holes in the bulkhead from the previous toilet/holding tank installation. I considered a number of ways to deal with this but decided that since Wainscott Vinyl planking has been a mainstay on Annie, I would just stay with it. I'm glad I did, it looks great.

Then I had to lower the platform. The Nature's Head is a tall toilet, so the platform for the previous water toilet was way too high... it had to be chopped. After a few measurements and a couple of cuts, the height was right. (The difference in height is easily seen from the unpainted floorboards). A little bit of paint and we were ready for the NH install.

Now, considering I have yet to find a solar vent to vent the head, the install was easy. When I get a solar vent, I will amend this post with pictures of the vent install. As far as the NH itself, two brackets, a couple of test placements, and you're done. Again, the venting part of the install is more involved and I'll amend this post when that happens. Obviously, until then the NH will only be used for liquid waste.

Fair seas and God bless.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Crappy Job! (Part 1)

Annie's head has been acting up a little in the last few weeks... harder to flush, some backflow, and a slight odor in the V-berth. Wednesday, it completely quit. It would not flush... the wastewater would go back and forth (and became extremely disgusting). I know - Joker Valve.

So I had to make a decision, was I going to get replacement Joker Valves and do the repair or was I finally go to make my move to the Air Head or Nature's Head composting toilet. I decided on the latter.

There are many reasons for my decision.

First, a composting toilet will eliminate the holding tank and hoses that tend to generate obvious odor over time. (I have rarely been on an older sailboat with a holding tank when I didn't smell its presence).

Second, composting toilets do not normally break down. No valves to go weak, leak, stuck Y-valves, or rusted hose clamps.

Third, no third-party pump-outs. You still have to empty the liquid waste frequently and solid waste every couple of months, but you do not have to depend on a pump-out boat or marina personnel to tend to your waste system.

Fourth, reclaimed space. The holding tank can be removed providing a considerable amount of extra storage space. That may not be important to those on bigger boats but when you're on a thirty-two foot boat, space is a cherished commodity.

Fifth, a lower V-berth. On the Westsail 32 the V-berth is considerably high and very uncomfortable to get into and out of. Also, depending on the thickness of your mattress, you will actually hit the sides of your hips when you roll over. Now that the holding tank is no longer needed, I plan to eventually engage in the MAJOR project of lowering the V-berth platform to make for a comfortable sleeping area. I know I will lose some mattress size but to be able to comfortably sit on my V-berth mattress and have my feet touch the floor will be worth it. Plus I can add shelving like the W28's and gain additional storage.

Sixth, less thru-hulls.  I will be able to eventually permanently close three thru-hulls. The less thru-hulls, the less chance for water intrusion and/or breaches.

Seventh, everyone I've interviewed and almost everyone I've read about that actually have composting toilets, love them. Very few people say they hate them or have many, if any problems.

Regardless of my reasons, this WAS a CRAPPY job!

Vick's Vapor rub under the nose, rubber gloves, gobs of paper towels, trash bags, catch pans, and a few gags along the way and the removing of the old head is now complete. I will write another post documenting the install of the Nature's Head composting toilet which will arrive tomorrow.

Fair seas and God bless.




I will add a plastic splash wall to cover holes and make for easier cleaning

I'll have to fabricate a lower platform

Friday, November 27, 2015

One Year!

Today is Annie's one year anniversary! She has been back in the water for one year and for the most part I have been living aboard for a year... It has been great!

She was on the hard for about five years when I found her. It took me nine months to help her to be reborn and start her new life with me. It has been a great journey so far and we are just starting.

Here's to you Annie, My Little Ship of Dreams.